9 Signs that Your Water Heater Needs to Be Repaired or Replaced

A properly functioning water heater is essential for the comfort and convenience of any household. However, like any other appliance, water heaters can experience problems over time. Knowing the signs that indicate your water heater needs attention can help you avoid unexpected breakdowns and costly repairs. Let’s discuss common signs that your water heater may need to be repaired or replaced helping you make an informed decision about its maintenance.

1. Inconsistent Temperature

One noticeable sign that your water heater might need repair or replacement is inconsistent water temperature. If you find that your showers suddenly go from hot to cold without adjusting the faucet it could indicate a problem. This issue may be caused by a faulty thermostat a malfunctioning heating element or sediment buildup in the tank. Professional assistance is required to diagnose and fix these underlying problems. Find our more about how to flush sediment from your water heater!

2. Strange Noises

If you start hearing unusual noises coming from your water heater it is usually an indication that something is wrong. Common noises include popping rumbling or banging sounds. These sounds often occur due to excessive sediment buildup in the tank causing it to overheat or leading to uneven water flow. Ignoring these noises can lead to serious damage or even a complete failure of your water heater.

3. Leaks

Water leaks around your water heater are a clear sign that something needs to be addressed immediately. Leaks can be caused by a variety of issues such as a faulty valve loose connections or corrosion within the tank. Not only does this waste water and increase your utility bills but it can also cause significant structural damage to your home. If you notice any leaks it is important to have your water heater inspected and repaired as soon as possible.

4. Age of the Water Heater

Consider the age of your water heater when assessing its condition. Most traditional tank water heaters have a lifespan of around 8 – 12 years. As they age they become more prone to developing problems. If your water heater is reaching or surpassing this age range it might be more cost-effective to replace it rather than continuously repair it. Newer models are often more energy-efficient and it will save you money in the long run.

5. Corrosion

Inspecting your water heater for signs of corrosion is essential. Corrosion can result from constant exposure to water and can weaken the tank leading to leaks or even bursting. Look for any rust-colored water around the connections on the tank itself or in the water that comes out of the tap. Corrosion is a serious issue that requires immediate attention. A professional plumber can assess the extent of the corrosion and recommend whether repair or replacement is necessary.

6. High Energy Bills

A water heater that is not functioning properly can lead to increased energy consumption. If you notice a sudden spike in your energy bills without any other plausible explanation, it’s advisable to have your water heater inspected.

7. Low Water Pressure

Decreased water pressure in your hot water supply may be a result of a failing water heater. Sediment buildup or a faulty heating element can cause this issue, affecting your daily activities, such as showering or washing dishes.

8. Continuous Repairs

If you find yourself frequently calling a professional to fix your water heater, it may be more cost-effective to replace it entirely. Constant repairs can add up quickly in terms of time and money, so weigh the options carefully.

9. Foul Odors

If your hot water has a strong unpleasant smell, it could be due to bacteria growth inside the tank. This can occur when the temperature is set too low, allowing bacteria to thrive. A professional can help you determine which are the next steps to follow.


Regular maintenance and timely repairs are crucial to keep your water heater functioning optimally. By paying attention to the signs discussed in this article you can detect potential issues early on and take appropriate action. Ignoring these signs can lead to more significant problems and inconvenience down the line. Remember it’s always better to address water heater issues proactively rather than waiting for a complete breakdown.

Contact Lifetime Plumbing

If you are wondering where you could find expert plumbing services for your water heater repair, call Lifetime Plumbing, your licensed plumber in Chicago.